Brooklyn is What Dreams are Made Of

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Earlier this year I told myself, that 2017 will be the year where I travel more and step outside my comfort zone with every chance I get to learn something new about myself and the world. Last weekend, I traveled to Brooklyn, NY with a group of friends to attend the Afropunk Festival. More than a music festival, Afropunk is a part of black culture. Where people from all over come to celebrate the magic we hold, our love for music, unique fashion and multi-dimensional culture. It’s a safe place that thrives off inclusivity and the only rules at Afro punk are:

No Sexism

No Racism

No Ableism

No Ageism

No Homophobia

No Fatphobia

No Transphobia

No Hatefulness

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This was my first time attending Afropunk and it was most definitely a memorable experience from all the beautiful brown people glowing, dancing, thriving and vibing. I went on day two and had a chance to witness electrifying performances by NAO, Anderson Paak, and Kaytranada. I love live music and even though I enjoyed myself I did feel extremely anxious due to the huge crowds. I didn’t realize until we got there that it was going to be such a giant festival with 5 stages, where some of your favorite artists are playing at the same time and it’s tough getting to the other stages. Honestly, my highlight of Afropunk was the after party hosted by Soulection featuring Sango. I listen to Soulection religiously and was so excited to finally catch a live event of theirs because they not only create good vibes, but educate you on what you’re listening to especially since most of today’s music is samples it’s good to know where it originated. They kicked if off with Andre Powers, The Whooligan and Sango. Sango is by far one of my favorite artists and producers who loves to incorporate his love for Brazilian afro-beats with trap music.

IMG_9753Top & Skirt: LFstores  photo by @stylefeen

Even though our main reason for visiting Brooklyn was for Afropunk we wanted to be sure to explore the city and utilize every opportunity to experience the New York lifestyle. We stayed at an Airbnb, in the most beautiful, quiet and convenient neighborhood called Prospect Heights. It was only a couple blocks from the Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Park and surrounded by lots of amazingly delicious restaurants and coffee shops. I consider myself to be a certified foodie and love trying out new restaurants. When we arrived our superstar host took us around the neighborhood and gave us a tour of where to eat, hang out and things to do. That was so helpful because whenever we were on our own we had a sense of our surroundings and knew where to go. Just a heads up everyone walks in NY, so bring a pair of comfy shoes.

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While we were in Brooklyn we ate at Sweet Chick, a southern spot that is known for their chicken and waffles and good vibes, Cent’Anni, an Italian spot known for their homemade pasta dishes, Two8Two, a burger joint that oozes goodness, Cheryl’s Global Soul, a cozy cafe that offers the perfect brunch and soul food, and last but certainly not least Van Leeuwen , an ice-cream and coffee shop that makes vegan and classic ice-cream from scratch.

Our second day we took the subway to Manhattan, which is by far the best way to travel if you’re going more than 6 blocks away. It’s cheaper than an Uber and it’s a good way to sight see. Be sure to stay on your toes for the hustlers on the subways who are dancing and singing to get you to cough up some coins. When we arrived we went to Chelsea Market, which is one of the greatest indoor food halls filled with unique shops and vendors. It was extremely busy so we grabbed a drink and quickly headed back out the doors. We perused the streets of Manhattan for hours until we stumbled upon the Flatiron district which had blocks of great shopping from luxury to department stores.

Overall, it was a wonderful time in NY and I’m excited to be going back in a couple weeks for Fashion week!

I encourage you to change the scenery of your life. It’s a chance to refresh, learn, compare, meet new people, make new friends, view things anew and to grow. 

Have you been to Brooklyn? What are some of your favorite places to visit?

Much love

Founder & CEO,

Alexandra

 

 

 

Belize Re-cap + The Importance of Investing in Yourself & Others

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Last week my mother and I traveled to Belize for a much-needed vacation. This was my first international trip and I had no idea it would provide me with such a refreshing perspective.

A few weeks before our departure, my grandmother passed. My family took it pretty tough, especially my mom. It’s one of those things you expect, but can never be fully prepared for. Like most grandmother’s, she was the matriarch of our family. She was known for her nurturing and faithful spirit. She was an artist, author and business woman that served her community. This trip came right on time and gave us an opportunity to heal, reminicse and cherish the present time with each other.

“I am allowed to grieve – and I am allowed to heal. I give myself permission to do both without fear, regret or guilt.” – Alex Elle

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We stayed at a small village right on the beach, called Hopkins. Even though we stayed at a resort we were intentional about visiting the village and talking with the natives. The food at the resort wasn’t that great, so we decided to explore the village for dining. Our second day there, we rented a golf cart and visited a local restaraunt favorite called, “Ellas Cool Spot.” This was probably one of our most memorable days of the trip. My mom ordered the grilled lobster with mashed potatoes and plaintains. I ordered the grilled pineapple pork chop with rice, salad and plantains. They introduced us to their most well-known drink, the panty dropper, (which is pineapple juice and coconut rum). Just know the ride back to the resort was even more entertaining 😉

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My mom is passionate about history and has been teaching for over 30 years and insisted we visit the Mayan ruins. At first I wasn’t looking forward to visiting the Mayan temples, but actually was intrigued by their resilient spirits and ability to create these spectacalur handmade empires to protect their territories. We visited two temples in San Ignacio, Cahal Pech & Xunantunich.

FullSizeRender-78My mother & I at XunantichIMG_8629Me at the top, 130 ft upIMG_8831

This trip gave me an opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and see how others live in a different country.  We immediately noticed they don’t have the same access and resources like gas, cars, education or modern homes. The gas there was $10 BZE ($20 US), so majority of everyone walked or biked, they can’t afford gas yet alone a car. Most would look at it as an obstacle, but they still get where they need to be. Also, the minium wage there is $4 BZE ($8 US), which isn’t very much especially for families. They live in shacks without A/C and kept their windows and doors open to keep cool.

Even though a lot of the people there don’t have fancy homes or cars, they aren’t victims to their situation. This was a very humbling experience to witness and a great reminder to remain grateful for what we have here in the U.S.

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Something else I noticed was a lot of the Americans that were there in Belize were scouting for property. Belize is one of the top tourists destinations spots and a well-known retirement spot. It broadened my perspective and reminded me that once you change your mindset, you’ll change your life. We truly must take advantage of the resources we have and invest in ourselves, family and future. Our legacy is all we have and we must start thinking global and living limitlessly.

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

Continue to cherish the ones you love. Invest in yourself, so you’re able to invest in them. Provide them with new experiences and remind them that memories are the only things that are timeless, we must cherish them.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Summer, this is definitely an experience I’ll remember for a lifetime ❤

Much love

Founder & CEO,

Alexandra

Break Free From What No Longer Serves You

FullSizeRender-76 Sunday’s are meant for reflecting on your week, decluttering your mind and centering your energy. Oh, let’s not forget brunch! Today, I spent my Sunday surrounded by resilient women for a very inspiring Queens & Conversation. We met at Grizzelda’s, a cute lil’ spot on the eastside of Austin, which is known for their adorable pink decor and bomb margaritas. I was joined by Ashton, Irma, Farah, Meghan, Jeena, and Kay.

We discussed the importance of remaining true to ourselves and the power of letting go of relationships that no longer serve us. I’ve been there, I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there. Giving your all to others while losing yourself in the process. Being fearful of being alone, it’s comfortable and convenient, so you settle. It’s interesting because the more we shared, the more we realized how much we had in common regardless of our ages, ethnicities or upbrinings. We each endured a relationship that was stifling our individual growth and had to find the strength to take our power back and break free.

“I am the ruler of my life. I am in charge of my own happiness. I am learning to let go of what’s holding my heart hostage.” -Alex Elle

FullSizeRender-75We also shared the importance of self-care and how it’s okay to be selfish. It’s ironic because the word selfish, has a negative conotation, but it’s essential to be selfish in order to protect your peace. If you won’t, who will? If not now, then when?

Be selfish with your time, energy and passions. Invest in yourself. Be mindul of the people you surround yourself with.

Your life experiences are only as powerful as your ability to turn them into life lessons. Find peace in what you can not change. Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not obsess. Just breathe and have faith everything will work out. Re-set. Re-adjust. Re-start. As many times as you need to, continue to conquer from within.

You have the power within you to move mountains in every area of your life. The biggest catch is, the biggest mountain you’ll ever have to move is within you.

 

Much love

Founder & CEO

Alexandra

No Risk. No Reward.

FullSizeRender-74This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of gathering 12 brilliant women who are shining bright and serving their community. When I host Queens & Conversation, it reminds me of my purpose, potential and passions. What I value most is that each one is unique and I leave feeling inspired, affirmed and empowered from the amazing conversation we share. There is something so beautiful about creating something you want to be a part of and sharing these special moments with women who you can relate to and fuel you to keep going.FullSizeRender-72I’m very intentional about handpicking each guest for Queens & Conversation and this was definitely an amazing group of women that vibed well. I was joined by Shayla, Ashley, Stephanie, Leslie, Arielle, Angela, Devanne, Lauren, Molly, Crystal, Ishia, and Mica. We met up for brunch at Eberly, which was founded upon a resilient and courageous Texas woman, Angelina Eberly, and is known for attracting creative risk takers, so I knew it would be a great fit us! Our theme was no risk, no reward.

We discussed the importance of stepping outside of our comfort zones, taking that leap of faith and letting God lead us very step of the way. Often times, we are stretched beyond our limits to be reminded of how powerful we truly are. We shared the sacrifices we had to make in order to get where we’re at today because regardless of what social media shows us, the journey won’t be perfect, but it will be worth it.FullSizeRender-73We closed out by each going around the table sharing what success means to us. Being that we live in a world that revolves around money, no ones answer had anything at all to do with material things. We all shared a common theme of having the freedom to create the life we deserve, seeing the people we love taken care of and leaving an empowering legacy for generations to come.

I can’t thank these women enough for showing up and being present, it truly means so much to me. I appreciate your time, energy and efforts to go against the grain to be the change you want to see. Continue to trust your greatness and respect your journey. Even though you may not be reaping the rewards right now, keep sowing your seeds and your garden will begin to bloom beautifully.

Surround yourself with people who see your value and remind you of it.

The next brunch will be held on July 23rd, more details coming soon!

Envision. Create. Conquer.

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As we approach the mid-year mark, I feel my mind begin to shift into perspective of self-reflection. I’m overflowing with love, gratitude, motivation, and humility as I prepare to finish the year strong. Flash back: 2 years-ago I was a college graduate and wasn’t sure how my journey would look, but I knew I had the power to create it on my own terms. I reached out to an old employer, to propose that I help rebrand their fashion boutique. I had worked with them in-store as a stylist/sales associate for eight months, so I was familiar with their brand and clientele. That immediately turned into a full-time Public Relations opportunity where I taught myself the ins & outs of building a brand and connecting with your community.

Now, if you are familiar with PR you already know that the #1 rule is: “If you don’t know, get familiar aka fake it til’ ya make it.” I challenged myself to wear many hats and learn the game of PR such as : social media manager, marketing director, moderator and content creator, it simply depended on the day and objective.

Don’t ask how to do it, just make sure it gets done. 

Queens-Hotel-31Once I became aware of my value and how I could leverage my skills to help others I saw a need for women in business. I noticed women were creating businesses rapidly, but weren’t aware of how to market themselves or their business. They downplayed their talents and referred to it as “a hobby or lil’ something I do here and there”. I was inspired to show them they can own their purpose and conquer their dreams. They had everything they needed to create the life they deserved and I wanted to motivate them to go get it!

What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn?

That since day one. She’s already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not.

-Rupi Kaur

Queens-Hotel-33I’ve worked with hair salon owners, health/beauty connoisseurs, event planners and more. I say all this to share my testimony. In the beginning of my journey, I made mistakes, took some L’s and didn’t manage my money efficiently, but it was preparation for what lied ahead.

Fast forward to today: I’m working full-time at NaturallyCurly, the largest online haircare platform dedicated specifically to natural and curly hair. I’m creating and sharing compelling stories to empower women to embrace their beauty and walk in their purpose.

Coincidence? Nah. It’s called fate. 

By immersing myself into the community and sharing my gifts I was able to grow and leverage my network. I gained experience in the PR/Media industry and learned things that no book could have taught me. I truly feel everything is connected and each level in your life you must take risks and challenge yourself in order to move forward to the next level. With every opportunity, we have two options: step forward into faith or step back into safety.

You are exactly where you’re supposed to be. Walk in your light and live in your purpose. No matter what it takes, you are able and it is possible.

This season I encourage you to start thinking bigger, praying bigger & expecting bigger. God wants to take you where you’ve never been.

Be gentle with yourself and remember to honor the process.

It Gets Greater Later.

Queens-Hotel-37Don’t ever stop believing in your personal transformation. It’s still happening, even on days when you may not realize it or feel like it. 

Dress: Zara

Shoes: Aldo

MUA: Cassie Ybarra

Photography: Cassandra J. Klepac

Much love & many blessings

Founder & CEO

Alexandra Wilson

Spring is in Full Bloom. What Seeds Are You Planting?

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I can’t express how full of love and gratitude I am from hosting Queens & Conversation this past Sunday! In case you’re new here, Queens & Conversation is a bi-monthly brunch where women entrepreneurs, creatives and innovators gather for brunch to discuss their passions, ideas and challenges. The goal is to create a safe and intimate space for women to come together and see how we can support each other along our journey’s. Our theme for April was creative entrepreneurship, how to prioritize our passions, ways to set boundaries in our business/personal lives and the importance of self-care.

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We ate at one of my favorite local spots, Picnik, and it couldn’t have been a better place to brunch with Queens while supporting a woman-owned restaurant. I was joined by a group of passionate and creative women including  Cristina Cleveland, Devri Velazquez, Devanne Pena, Shari Mitchell, Nikki Johnson, Queen Roue, Sydney Hardwick, and Jade Shaw.  We discussed how we can feel obligated to others, but we must first remain true to ourselves and protect our energy. It was a great reminder that it’s okay to be selfish because in order serve others we must serve ourselves first. We also shared the importance of prioritizing our passions. Some of us work full-time jobs (myself included) and have side hustles and it can be tough to find time to balance it all. I’ve been in major transition mode all while trying to manage a relationship, full-time job, and building Queens Conquer it’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. You will always make time for what matters. Take time to write your priorities for the day, put it in your google calendar and set time aside to get it done! You got this Queen, start now!

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We closed the day out with each person sharing what seeds they’re planting this season and how we can help each other grow and flourish along our journey’s. Some shared they needed help with starting an organization, feedback on their brand, supporting their events, and accountability to living a healthier lifestyle. The commonalities were asking for help, accountability, love, and self-care. It’s amazing seeing women being vulnerable and stepping outside their comfort zone to be the change they want to see. We have all the tools we need in order to be great, but I feel we must recognize those around us and invest in people that can help us get there. Be patient. Be gentle with the journey. Be bold and speak your truth. Venerability makes you whole.

“Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.”

Much love & many blessings

Founder & CEO

Alexandra

Girls Support Girls #Sisterhood

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There’s nothing I enjoy more than creating magic with creative, free-spirited and passionate women. Recently, I had the opportunity to collaborate with a local t-shirt company, Daisy Natives, my fabulous photographer friend Cassandra, and a few of her friends Samantha, Alexandria and Texas for a fun shoot at the carnival celebrating sisterhood.

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As you may know, two months ago I started working full-time at NaturallyCurly, as a content editor, sharing compelling stories to empower women to embrace their beauty and walk in their purpose.  Recently, I wrote an article about the importance of sisterhood : 5 Ways You Can Support Other Women Today and wanted to keep the conversation going.

 Now more than ever, we must embrace our “sisters” (biological or not) and remind them of their magic. So, I ask you, how can you support other women?

 

“Women can support other women  by being accepting of each other and not in competition or jealous of each there. Being an emotional support (being real with each other about topics that affect us daily such as beauty, career, relationships, dating, etc. Also, by supporting and promoting each other’s businesses. Showing respect towards each other and praising and empowering each other’s strengths and gifts”

-Cassie Luong 

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“One way I feel women can support each other is to believe in ourselves and to love ourselves more. Only when we believe that we are enough can we truly support one another. Without fear. Fear moves us to compare, judge, and hate. I feel that we compare ourselves to others out of fear that we aren’t adequate when in fact, each one of us are born more than adequate. We are born goddesses. We are born creators. We all have beautiful gifts to offer the world. Let’s support each other by showing love to ourselves and letting that love shine into every decision we make. No fear. No hate. Just love.”

Texas Monroe

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True sisterhood cannot be forced, it takes time, patience, love and reciprocity. Being your sister’s keeper shouldn’t feel like an unwanted responsibility, but a reflex. The beautiful thing about sisterhood is it requires no limits, no race, no class or geography. Sisterhood is a rare connection that transforms us as we mature from young girls into women sharing our struggles, experiences and learnings.

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Whether it be collaborating, listening without judgement or supporting a woman-owned business, there are many ways women can support each other!

There is nothing I value more than sisterhood. The type of sisterhood that is transparent, authentic and empowering. We’re all fighting so many battles within that sometimes, we simply need a reminder of our magic, a shoulder to lean on, an advocate to support us when we don’t have the energy to and lastly sisters that believe in our vision. Continue to conquer from within and let your light shine bright!

If we don’t help each other, who will? And if not in this time, when?

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Photography: Cassandra J. Klepac

T-shirts: Daisy Natives

Girl Squad: Left to Right Me, Alexandria Subia, Texas Monroe, Cassie Luong, and Samantha.